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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment One-Hundred and Four

Updated on June 29, 2016

Happy Anniversary to Us All

Two years, my friends, and thanks to all of you. Someone please pass the cake and ice cream. All this celebrating has me hungry.

What does it all mean? Darned if I know, but it’s been fun at the very least and hopefully, for you, never boring.

Okay, enough of that. Let’s get started on the third year, shall we?

WORDS TO A PAGE

From Venkatachari M: “Regarding the number of words, I got some confusion. How many words make a page for a novel.”

I’m afraid there is no good answer to your question. The number of words per page depends on the font, the line-spacing and the size of your page. For my novels, publishing them on CreateSpace for a 6x9 page, I get between 250 and 300 words per page but again, if that was single-spaced, it would be 500 to 600 words on the same page, and if I used a different sized page, the word count would be different as well. Make sense?

Now, if your next question is how many words in a novel, the standard range is between 75,000 and 120,000 words for a full-length novel. And if you want to know how many pages that is, I’ll let you do the math.

Thanks for the question!

The Mail Room welcomes you!
The Mail Room welcomes you! | Source

Mixed Signals from Hp

From Ruby: “I have a question. I felt really good when a few of my pieces were chosen to go to other sites, especially since HP emailed me about it and added only exceptional hubs were selected. Then my score dropped. Why? What causes a score to drop? Glad you're hanging in there. We need you to build out esteem since in reality we are babies in an adult body. LOL”

Ruby, I swear, I wish I had an answer for you. Just between you and me and the fence post, HP drives me crazy if I allow it to do so.

I have heard this explanation regarding your question: when a hub is switched from one site to another, there is a lag period on Google; it’s like your internet scores freeze for a day or two, and in fact may fall, before the internet gods recognize it once again on a new site and the scores then start rising. I have no idea if that’s true. Quite frankly, the whole thing could lead me to having an ulcer and so I don’t give it any power over me. HP doesn’t much care what I do and I return the compliment to them.

I have another question: who declared the staff of HP as writing experts? What qualifications do they have to declare our work as “exceptional” or not? Just curious!

No, I do not say that with any bitterness, because I’ve had quite a few articles chosen as exceptional, but really, what does that mean? This whole scoring system that HP has seems so random to me and thus insignificant and unimportant…..but really, what do I know?

INTERNAL DIALOGUE

From Faith: “Oh, I have a simple question about using internal dialogue in writing. Should it always be in quotes or is it best to just use italics? Or does it depend on how long the internal dialogue goes on? Well, that's two simple questions LOL.”

This is an interesting question, Faith, but I’d expect nothing less from you.

Interestingly, there is no definitive answer for this. It seems to be a matter of individual tastes and style. Grammatically, either one is correct. One word of warning, though: if you use quotation marks then you must use correct punctuation as if someone is speaking.

The other option is to use words like “she thought” to designate internal dialogue. The only problem with this technique is over-use which leads to redundancy and boredom. So if you go that route don’t go that route too often.

Personally, I use italics, but again, that’s personal taste and nothing else. I’m sure someone is going to say that, definitively, you must do it this way or you must do it that way, but I’ve seen it both ways in novels by traditional publishers and famous writers, so I say hogwash! Do it the way you are comfortable with. Just be consistent.

What Bev is thinking can go in quotation marks or use italics...and no, I  don't know what she was thinking as I took this picture.
What Bev is thinking can go in quotation marks or use italics...and no, I don't know what she was thinking as I took this picture. | Source

How Much Longer?

From Jarrod: “You’ve mentioned you are 67 years old. How much longer will you continue to write?”

To borrow from Charlton Heston, and it pains me to do so, I’ll stop writing when they pry the pen from my cold, dead fingers.

PODCASTS

From Jenny: “You’ve mentioned doing a podcast of this series. I was wondering when we could expect it?”

Jenny, I have this problem and the problem is ME!

I don’t want to do something unless I can do it well. Podcasts are foreign to me, and it’s taking me a long time to reach the comfort stage of doing a podcast. Oh, I could do one today. It would take me, literally, about a half hour to produce and publish…but it would be of horrible quality and I won’t do that.

Soon, Jenny, is my answer, which is better than I don’t have a clue.

Is there a cemetery for would-be freelance writers?
Is there a cemetery for would-be freelance writers? | Source

Why Failure?

From Alana: “Why do so many freelance writers fail and go back to 9-5 jobs?”

Alana, this answer is, again, purely subjective. I don’t have statistics to prove it by and I doubt there are statistics. This is just my gut reaction after five years of freelancing.

At first glance, freelancing looks easy to many. They begin with the faulty premise that anybody can write, or because they won a writing competition when they were ten, and their middle school teacher told them one of their essays was exceptional, they think they have what it takes to make money in this business.

They quickly find out that there are literally millions of people out there…I dare say tens of millions….who believe exactly the same thing. In other words, the competition is fierce in the freelance world.

Then we have the problem of plummeting pay. Five years ago, when I started, the competition was not as tough, and writing gigs paid more. Now we have a lot of desperate people willing to write for pennies compared to dollars, so it has driven the price down for freelancers. In other words, we have become our own worst enemy.

Some have unrealistic visions of writing. Being good at writing requires long, long hours. It must be treated like a business, and quite frankly, there are a lot of writers out there who are miserable businessmen and women.

Freelancing requires marketing skills. Many writers have zero marketing skills.

I could go on but I think you get the point.

The Future of the Book Industry

From Mack: “What do you think the book industry will look like in five years? Will we see a resurgence of traditional books, or will Ebooks continue to take more of the market share?”

Mack, how the heck would I know? LOL

Seriously, things seem to have stabilized in the publishing business. Ebooks reached their zenith a couple years ago and now the market seems to have stabilized. I believe there will always be a market for traditional books to the tune of a 70-30 market share in favor of hardcover or paperback but again, I have no crystal ball.

MORE NEXT WEEK

It’s been real, folks, and I thank you for it. I’ll see you next Monday as we begin our third year of the Mailbag.

2016 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 12 months ago from New York, New York

      Happy 2 years of this series amazing series and seriously so happy for you. But still I love how you answered the question about how long you will continue write for as it gave me hope that I will see your writing around here for years to come. Happy Monday and have a great week now, my friend!! ;)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Aw thanks, Janine, for being here for 104 of these installments. I greatly appreciate you, Janine.

    • Tarunponders profile image

      Tarun Chhauda 12 months ago from Roorkee, India

      Hi Bill,

      Congratulations once again, on this yet another and very promising feat. This truly calls for a treat. So I shall raise a toast from here taking full advantage of the virtual world. Great responses like every time. Sometimes I wonder if such brilliant questions will ever cross my mind and so this seems like doing a PhD on the subject of writing and that too for FREE. Thanks for keeping this going and helping us out as we journey together in this world of writing. I now look forward to the auspicious number 108 ( as shared earlier) which is considered auspicious for a lot of Indians. Also I have a question in mind which needs to be framed properly before it appears here in need for a response. So I shall be back sooner than you think. See ya soon and Take care.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 12 months ago

      Happy two years and a great mailbag today, Bill. I think you gave very good answers to people. I have a couple of random thoughts on today’s questions. The word count on a page probably doesn’t make any difference in the finished product except to an editor who is charging by the page, so you might want to take that into consideration when hiring an editor.

      I’m a miserable businesswoman, my friend. I’ll admit it freely. That probably is why I’lll always write for fun. I’m just glad I’ve gotten paid for writing and editing for the last 50 years. That includes both my media and government careers.

      For the sake of the trees, I hope there is not a resurgence of hard copy books.

      Great photo of Bev. Have a great rest of the week, my friend.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 12 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Happy Anniversary for the series, Bill. Good questions. I can relate to Ruby's about HP's mixed signals in regard how they select hubs for the niche sites. I had two selected out of 260 and don't know if it really makes any difference. They had a slight rise in traffic for a couple of weeks after the move but now don't seem to get any more than my other hubs. Also, some of the categories and what they include in that niche are quite crazy.

    • louise-barraco profile image

      Louise Barraco 12 months ago from Ontario

      This was awesome Bill very informative I now know that the seven or eight novels that I have written definitely need work I would love for you to check them out only if you want too that is

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 12 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Happy Anniversary for the series and what an awesome journey it has been!

      I have always learnt something from this and this installment is no different. Very good questions and answers. Thank you!

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 12 months ago from San Diego California

      I think she's thinking about getting frisky on the grass, so you better pay attention dude and get busy.

      I'm a lousy businessman. I'm a lousy marketer. These are the biggest hurdles I have to overcome. I think the biggest hurdle of all, however, is that sometimes I have a great business or marketing idea and I neglect to execute.

      Congratulations on your two years with the mailbag. I would say you are 50 percent writer here, 50 percent psychologist for troubled writers. You're doing a great service.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Tarun! I greatly appreciate you following along, and I look forward to your next question.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB, you and Bev would get along just great...she says the same thing about hard cover books. LOL

      Thanks as always....I'm having trouble with my internet connection today so this will have to be short.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I agree completely, John! I've seen the same kind of activity. It makes no sense at all to me.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Louise. Time is an issue for me. I would love to help out, but it will take time. I'm always reading so I can definitely pick up one of your books and check it out.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 12 months ago from USA

      Ditto on the feelings about HP. I just don't worry about it. Good variety of Q&A this week. Keep doing what you do, Bill.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, ChitrangadaSharan. I love interacting with all of you in this series.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Aw, thanks, Mel, and I'll keep in mind your suggestion about Bev in the grass. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Flourish. I think I'll follow that advice of yours.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 12 months ago from Fresno CA

      What? You mean you AREN'T clairvoyant? I thought for sure you knew it all! Haha. The problem is none of us know that the future will bring to ebooks for anything else for that matter. I was watching something very dated recently where one of the characters was stating that the internet was a passing fad. The truth is I guess, we have to act like it will never end but plan like it might. Or is that vice-versa? Another great mailbag. Thanks

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 12 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Wish you Happy Anniversary on completion of two years at mailbag.

      And thanks for answering my question. I am clear now. Each question asked here is good one seeking knowledge and your answers are great clearing all doubts and at the same time adding to our knowledge. Thank you once again.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Denise and no, I'm not even close to being able to read the tea leaves and see the future....but I'll keep trying.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Venkatadchari, thank you very much for the question and you are very welcome. Best wishes to you always!

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 12 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      2 Years - has it really been that long? Time waits for no man. Happy Anniversary, Bill. Looking forward to another year of good stuff. Congratulations!

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 12 months ago from london

      HAPPY 2nd ANNIVERSARY, BRO!!

      And a mighty fine Hub this, also.

      Bev is probably using her Heart and Soul, which is manifesting powerfully in her charming smile, to tell you how much she loves you, Bro. Darn! Why are some men so lucky! (Sweet chuckle) Could be, though, could be.

      Hub Pages are business people, true, but like some here, I agree that they aren't sure about some things. Interestingly, I've never bothered about scores, but yes, I know that some take this very seriously indeed!

      I'm usually 60-ish or mid 70's with my score. You know, when I do public reading, some audiences are not so into it, and again, I can get "Wow! Astonishing! Did you right this? is it original?" with a different crowd. So people and consciousness change all the time.

      Thank you for another great mailbag.

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 12 months ago from Minnesota

      Happy Monday Bill! These mailbags really brighten my otherwise dreary Mondays so I hope you continue them for at least another 2 years! Happy anniversary!

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 12 months ago from Oklahoma

      Interesting ideas and observations. I especially found your take on e-books versus physical books insightful.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 12 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Well, you hung in and so did we. Thank you for answering my silly question. See you next time...

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 12 months ago

      When it comes to HP, I say just write and enjoy. Leave the nitpicking to them.

    • profile image

      Michael Milec 12 months ago

      Congratulations or 'happy anniversary' my friend; one is in quotations the other isn't. Who am I to know what's right or wrong while only at start learning. One thing though I know the good Lord will give you strength and increase in wisdom all days of your life, while those " cold dead fingers" - don't worry about, - let it happen at the very end.

      Blessings and peace.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 12 months ago from Chicago Area

      Happy Mailbag Monday!

      Re: Freelance Failure. The "return to 9-to-5" is not just a problem for freelance writers; it's a problem for freelance anything. You correctly note that it's usually due to poor business and marketing skills, coupled with economic realities and market changes. Skill at whatever you're skilled at sadly does not translate into skill in the marketplace. If you do not have the tenacity and chutzpah to be in business for yourself and deal with all that entails, 9-to-5 might be best... then keep writing as your avocation, not vocation.

      Re: Future of Publishing. I tend to agree that there will be a market for both ebooks and print for the near term. Long term? I wish I knew. If I did, I'd be investing in or preparing for whatever is next.

      Have a great pre-holiday week!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 12 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Well I sure have enjoyed all 104 of them. I am so out of the loop that I thought all pages were 8 and a half by eleven. Learned a whole lot today, thank you.

    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 12 months ago from Hollister, MO

      Congratulations on 2nd Anniversary!!

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 12 months ago from Massachusetts

      Congratulations Bill on two years with the mailbag. Quite an achievement. Regarding the Hub score I completely agree with you. I give it very little attention or thought. I have found no correlation between my current hub score and my traffic or earnings so it matters not to me. Have a great week.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 12 months ago from southern USA

      Happy Two Year Anniversary, Bill! Wow, that is wonderful and still going strong.

      What a jam-packed Mailbag for your anniversary here. Thank you for the great answers to my questions. This is timely for me ... : ) and I'm glad you prefer italics.

      Woo, look at Bev there! What a great photo. You are a lucky man, and I am sure you already know that fact.

      I reached a milestone today ...I finally have 100,000 views LOL.

      Peace and blessings always

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 12 months ago from Riga, Latvia

      Some nice tidbits I picked up once again here. BTW since I don't know if you'll get my response to your comment on my hub about Cream let me explain here. When I write up my music hubs I always check to be sure they pass certain checks. I mean there are just so many facts you can give about entertainers before you get all tangled up in what has already been said. Anyway this hub is another one that appeared to be a duplicate to the powers that be and being tired of all this I just deleted it. I just don't have the time to do it over. Anyway you will see more music hubs coming up. My latest policy is do or die and I have chosen to do. Hope you have an inspirational and progressive week.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks so much, Bill! It's been a very good run for sure.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Very true, Manitita, very true. As for HP, I've never looked at my score either. I'm not here to be appraised by some business people using a computer analysis.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Hello Melissa! What would a celebration be without you here. You've been here for every single one of them, so thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Larry! I may not be correct about that, but it seems to me we are stabilizing and both are co-existing quite nicely.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Not silly at all, Ruby, but you are very welcome, and thank you very much.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Exactly, Pop...exactly!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael my friend, thank you! You made me smile with this comment and that is a very nice gift.

      blessings always

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      There you go, everyone...Heidi, the voice of experience, has spoken.

      I am vindicated once again. LOL

      Thanks Heidi!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, you aren't that out of the loop. Many people think that.

      And thank you for 104 visits. Let's do it again soon, buddy!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Bill! It's been a blast, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill from Mass, thank you! Hub scores are for people who have very little to do with their lives and probably love daytime soap operas. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, that's exciting. Congratulations on that milestone. Next stop, one million!!!!!

      Thank you for your friendship and yes, I am a lucky man.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Rasma, thanks for letting me know. I'm so tired of HP policing everything and being so nitpicky. Carry on. I love those hubs.

    • social thoughts profile image

      social thoughts 12 months ago from New Jersey

      Bill,

      Your response to the "Mixed Signals" question is dead on. Their ratings are obnoxiously inconsistent.

      I love your response to "How Much Longer." Perfect! Accurate for many of us! It leaves us with an image of morbid humor. ;) "He/she died with the pen still in their hands."

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 11 months ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      I appreciated your thoughts on internal dialogue. I've settled into using italics. Seems more natural to me and separates it from....what? External dialogue? haha. I am ramping up for some kind of publishing and will be checking out more closely what you have said here and in hubs on the topic.

    • Babbyii profile image

      Barb Johnson 11 months ago from Alaska's Kenai Peninsula

      Congratulations on your 2nd year with the Mailbag Bill! Looking forward to your third year. As for ' how long' - Glad to hear you're in it for the duration.

      Have a happy and safe 4th of July holiday!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 11 months ago from California

      Congratulations Bill! HP and its changing scenery is enough to drive me buggy--but love the writers here! Thank you for doing the mailbag --it makes this place more human!

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 11 months ago from Dubai

      Congratulations! I hope you keep this wonderful series going. The publishing houses will always be around and nothing like having a book in your hand and reading for hours together. As for HP I love the writing community here and am getting a bit of practice writing articles.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Kailey....I've got a good grip on my pen and I'm not letting it go.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Chris, I'm excited about you publishing some of your short stories....best wishes on that.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Happy 4th of July to you, Babby, and thank you so much.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Aw, thanks, Audrey! I'm only still here because of writers like you...and that's the truth! I don't need HP....but I do need my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Vellur, thank you so much. I echo your sentiments about HP.

    • Buildreps profile image

      Buildreps 11 months ago from Europe

      A little late this time, but I like every episode, Bill. The funny thing is that even when questions seem to be something like splitting hairs, I still like the answer. What Bev is thinking at the picture? Man, she loves you, everyone sees that! Have a great week!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Buildreps! I don't know about everyone, but I'm aware of the love and I'm a lucky man.

    • Tarunponders profile image

      Tarun Chhauda 11 months ago from Roorkee, India

      Hi Bill,

      I posted my question here yesterday. Did you get it? HP has started giving me shocks lately. Can you please confirm? Else I shall have no choice but to post again.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Tarun, I saw no question yesterday. Can you send it again, please?

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 11 months ago from The Caribbean

      Seems that the mailbox has gotten new energy. Congratulations on the anniversary! It lasts because it's good.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 11 months ago from SW England

      I'm amazed that it's already 2 years; the time has flown! But that's what happens when we're enjoying ourselves, isn't it?

      I certainly hope that books will continue to be valued. There's no way ebooks can take their place. Books are objects of art which people like to handle, have on a shelf and re-read at will, either in snippets or to reacquaint ourselves with the characters or information. 'Dipping' into text can't be done anywhere near as easily with an ebook - difficult enough to find a particular page!

      I hope we have at least another two years of your advice and humour on the subject of writing; many of us look forward to the Monday slot!

      Have a fabulous Friday and a wondrous weekend, bill!

      Ann :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Dora, whatever energy the Mailbox gets, it gets from people like you. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Happy Friday, Ann, and I agree totally about books. I went by a home the other day and they had boxes of books on the curb that they were giving away. That seemed like a sacrilege to me, so I rescued some of them. LOL

      Have a fantastic weekend and thank you for always being here.

    • Tarunponders profile image

      Tarun Chhauda 11 months ago from Roorkee, India

      Hi Bill,

      I am posting the question here thrice. If this time also it doesnt reach then I shall have no choice but to send it to your email id. Here it goes - Any idea what should be an ideal typing speed per hour for a writer? I know it would vary from writer to writer but still wanted to have an idea. I have read online about this and some people say they take hours writing (typing) a blog post and others suggest they write 800-1000 words an hour. I myself am able to write 400 words an hour including research. Since we live in a world of deadlines it would be nicer to know what should be an ideal speed one could strive for. Also are there tools which help enhance productivity?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I received this one, Tarun, and it will be in Monday's Mailbag. Thank you for persistently attempting to send the question.

    • Tarunponders profile image

      Tarun Chhauda 11 months ago from Roorkee, India

      Thanks for the confirmation Bill. I can sleep more leisurely now. Have a great weekend ahead!

    • YouGet1Shot profile image

      Chris Desatoff 11 months ago from USA

      Wow, Bill! I can't believe it's been two years! Your consistency -- powered by self-discipline -- is certainly one of the factors why you are still freelance writing after all this time while others have fallen by the wayside.

      Congrats on Installment #104, Bill! And thank you for all the helpful advice shared.

      Chris

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 11 months ago from Shelton

      I’ll stop writing when they pry the pen from my cold, dead fingers.... Love it!!!!!! LOL

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 11 months ago from southern USA

      Happy Fourth, Bill!

      I have a fun question for you ...but it's more along the lines of an interview question of you. If this does not qualify for this series, I understand. If so, it may be too late for Monday's Mailbag.

      If you were deserted on an island, which three people would you want to have with you? Why? Criteria:

      a.One fictional character from one of your books

      b.One fictional character from any other book

      c.One famous person who is not a family member or friend

      Peace and blessings always

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 11 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Bill - Two years of the Mailbag - You must have answered all the questions. Once I visited a HP author page whose score had been lowered to zero. I inquired of him the why of it and it turned out HP was using the score to punish him. I haven't given the score any thought since then.

      I have first hand knowledge of the decline in the need for printed books. The publishing industry is consolidating rapidly. The x,y,z, generations are reading, but their preference is digital words. 'Oh, I could go on.'

      Happy Fourth of July

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Tomorrow it is, Tarun, and thanks again for the question.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Chris! There are many things I'm not, but consist I always will be. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Frank, I hated to quote Heston but in this case it fit so well. LOL Glad you liked it, buddy, and thanks.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, Happy 4th to you! What a great question. The Mailbag is full for tomorrow, but I think I'll squeeze this one in anyway.

      Blessings on this holiday weekend!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mike, don't go on. It will just depress me. LOL I'm going to keep writing and maybe the trend will reverse and a new generation will see the beauty in real books.

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      Deb Hirt 11 months ago

      I despise trying to do research through mediums other than books. I can have ten books open to specific pages, yet if I try to do that with a computer, I use track of what I am doing. I have even been known to close the open research. I cannot get any more specific.

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      Bill Holland 11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, I understand completely and I'm the same way. I need something near me I can highlight. LOL

      Happy 4th of July, my friend.

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      Rajan Singh Jolly 11 months ago

      It's always been educative reading this question and answer installment. So thank you for continuing it and all the very best for the mailbag entering the 3rd year.

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      Bill Holland 11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Rajan! This has been a pleasure for me as well.

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      Dianna Mendez 11 months ago

      Good advice on the HP site, we must proceed and not worry about what is going on behind the scene. I'll put this mail in my keepsake box.

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      Bill Holland 11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Dee! HP would drive me crazy if I allowed it to do so, which I don't. I just hang out with my friends here and let the numbers fall where they will.

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      Lawrence Hebb 11 months ago

      Bill

      I'm three weeks late, but this week I've got a week off so I might actually catch up a couple of days!

      These were interesting questions and I can see where some of them were coming from but to take up Mac's question about eBooks and traditional publishing I see the two working 'in tandem' in that some of the biggest books of the last few years came out as eBooks first (let's face it an a publisher finds a great eBook that's doing well but could do better with a 'little help' and all they have to do is make it worth the writer's while to swap!

      By the way Bill in the last installment there was a question about 'self editing' that nearly freaked me out as the answer said 'No way' but a day or so later CreateSpace had a great blog on that very subject that really helped.

      Just thought to mention that as it really was a good article

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      Bill Holland 11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Lawrence, and I agree with your "tandem" statement. I do the same thing. As for editing, the problem with getting a pro editor is the cost, which is prohibitive for many of us.

      Thanks so much for being here.

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      Shauna L Bowling 11 months ago from Central Florida

      I'd like to add my two cents (as I so often do here), if you don't mind, Bill.

      With regard to the words per page question, I'll offer what that means to an editor, especially one who charges per page. Typically, the manuscript is to be submitted (to an editor) in Times Roman 12 pt font and double-spaced. When I was researching how and what to charge for editing, I discovered the industry norm is 250 words per page. It could technically vary slightly up or down, but for quoting per page prices, 250 (words) is the industry standard.

      To Alana's question about going back to a 9 to 5 job, it's (in my case) simply a matter of income versus output. It's hard to make enough money to meet or beat what you made prior to taking on freelancing as a sole source of income. In my case, I was making over $900 per week before I quit my job. My freelance business yielded nowhere near that. The fact that I suck at marketing was a contributing factor, but even if I were better at it, I highly doubt I'd have been able to match what I was making. After going nearly broke, it became quite clear that my financial needs needed to come first and that meant going back into the work force.

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      Bill Holland 11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, your two cents worth will always be welcome here. Thanks for sharing that. I don't know too many writers who make $900 per week. In fact, I don't know any. LOL

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      Shauna L Bowling 11 months ago from Central Florida

      I hear ya, Bill. In fact, I took an $8,000/year cut in pay when I went back to work. But I'm paying the bills. That's what matters.

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      Bill Holland 11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      For sure, Sha! We do what we have to do to get by.

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      Norma Lawrence 10 months ago

      Great article. I enjoyed it very much. I have been with Hub Pages for 2 months now and I have not gotten any where yet. I have always done well submitting articles but not here. Will try for a while longer.

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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Norma, thanks for stopping by. HP takes quite a long time before you see dividends. My suggestion would be to give it six months and then reevaluate. Good luck!

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